Irish Republican News · May 20, 2011
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Maskey may face Price in west Belfast election

Sinn Fein’s Paul Maskey is to stand in the Westminster by-election next month for the West Belfast seat left vacant by Gerry Adams.

Mr Adams left the House of Commons after he was elected to the Dail to represent the Louth constituency.

The Sinn Fein President won his position in West Belfast with a 71% majority at the 2010 General Election but never took his seat because he refused to swear allegiance to the Queen.

On Thursday evening Mr Adams addressed a party selection convention in Belfast to choose his replacement.

Paul Maskey, who was also elected on the first count as MLA for West Belfast, was the only party member seeking selection for the by-election, which will take place on 9 June.

Mr Maskey said: “I am very honoured to be selected to run for this seat by my party colleagues.

“Last year Gerry Adams as MP for West Belfast took the very courageous step to stand for election in Co Louth, with the commitment to challenge the economic malaise that the 26 counties is facing. He was returned there along with 13 other Sinn Fein TD’s.

“Obviously if elected I will seek to continue the work that Gerry Adams has carried out on behalf of the people of West Belfast since 1983 when he was first elected.”

Sinn Fein’s huge majority in the constituency ensures that Maskey is almost guaranteed election. While the SDLP is likely to nominate a candidate, Sinn Fein’s republican revivals are also understood to be considering an election run on behalf of interned ‘dissident’ Marian Price.

Ms Price is in solitary confinement in Maghaberry prison since Monday following a declaration by British direct ruler Owen Patterson that her 30-year-old release licence had been revoked.

The 32 County Sovereignty Committee said Ms Price’s internment “represents an act of utter repression against the Irish people” and linked it to the royal visit as well as the naming of a new Six-County executive at Stormont.

“That an unaccountable British politician can arbitrarily remove an Irish citizen’s freedom in their own country demonstrates clearly, despite recent fawning to the contrary, that we have not entered into a new era of relationships between the two islands.”

“It is no coincidence that this repression precedes the royal visit to the Twenty Six County State. Whilst we witness the grovelling of the West Brit brigade, falling over themselves to welcome the sectarian monarch, republicans see clearly the message she brings with her; the Irish are finally in their place.

“But more telling is the absolute humiliation that this act bestows on the Stormont regime. On the very day that the micro-ministries were being dished out, most noticeably a ‘justice’ ministry, the real seat of power was exercising itself.

“The farce was exposed for the puppet regime it is. We now challenge those who advocate that this farce represents a route to a sovereign Ireland to state clearly where they stand on this repressive act? We challenge them to state clearly what powers this farce enables them to undo this massive injustice?”

“This is the Good Friday Agreement in action. These are the fruits of the so called ‘peace process’ and the flawed thinking of outmanoeuvred former republican leaders. We call on all republicans to work together to fight this injustice. We call for unity and solidarity with republican POW’s as they struggle against repression from within their imprisonment. And we say to the Irish people this is what the royal visitor represents and this is why we strenuously oppose it.”

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© 2011 Irish Republican News